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MBC variety show does blackface (again)

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Posted

I can't find the original clip anymore, but basically, an MBC variety show called "World Changing Quiz Show" featured performers dancing in blackface on last week's episode:

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Really classy, original, and hilarious. /sarcasm You can see them at about one minute in, although not performing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UjhEfaTp1Hg

A bit of background to explain why this hasn't caused the same fervor as when Boom wore blackface to imitate Stevie Wonder, or when BEAST's Kikwang appeared on another show in blackface (all three instances, incidentally, occurred on MBC shows). "World Changing Quiz Show" airs late night and is geared toward a more mature domestic audience, so no sexy idols for international fans to take note of. Also, the characters weren't just random black folk; they were dressed as a character from the old Korean cartoon "Dooly" (http://www.youtube.c...h?v=GXQFr5-jPTA), so an argument could be made that the caricature aspect may have been due to the fact that they were imitating a cartoon. Also, blackface obviously doesn't have the same negative cultural implications in Korea as it does in the US. There are plenty of Koreans, especially among the older set, who look at this type of makeup and have no particular associations with it. However, this is the third time in the past year and a half that MBC has come under fire for utilizing blackface for cheap laughs. Shouldn't they know better by now? Will there ever come a point where everyone goes "Heck no!" when some MBC staff writer says, "Hey, you know what would be really funny? What if we painted up one of our actors and gave him big lips and told him to act like a BLACK PERSON? Ha, ha!"

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Posted

I'm pissed off. Thats wher I stand with this. You got half the country  hating Block B for saying something that was put way out of context. Yet this can go on freely. And its pure b.s too. So this is ok in korea? I think not. Cause if Korea wants to expand its "hallyu wave" then it better get with the program. Cause people around the world can't stand black face. And if they want to be accepted by the rest of the world they need to stop making themselves look like ignorant racist. Even if it was from a cartoon. That cartoon is way offensive in the first place.

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Posted

errr that's really gross and offensive especially to the people who live outside of korea, but i guess nothing can really be done can there? rolleyes.gif

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Posted

As mentioned, they weren't doing this with the intent of imitating Black people. It was to parody a character from Dooly, which is dark in color. Not really in the same context as say, what Kikwang did. But, if they said anything on the lines of it being funny cause it looks like a black person, then that's when it's seriously racist.

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Posted

I'm pissed off. Thats wher I stand with this. You got half the country  hating Block B for saying something that was put way out of context. Yet this can go on freely. And its pure b.s too. So this is ok in korea? I think not. Cause if Korea wants to expand its "hallyu wave" then it better get with the program. Cause people around the world can't stand black face. And if they want to be accepted by the rest of the world they need to stop making themselves look like ignorant racist. Even if it was from a cartoon. That cartoon is way offensive in the first place.

You said it well!

Korea can't have it both ways. 1. Lets be global. Always act appropriately idols 2. Since its only national, let's parody black people! Just because it's Dooly doesn't make it okay. Has anyone noticed that Song Of The South is no longer played in the US? And it would be considered poor taste if someone did a black face saying they were portraying those characters.

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Posted

How can people appreciate Koreans when they are racist af. They think they're the best, well news flash, you're not

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Posted

Btw im not black. Im asian, but it disgusts me when one race thinks they are better than the rest and expects them to listen to their music.I'm over Korean music now. Good luck trying to expand your hallyu wave, racists.

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Posted

The most annoying part about this is having to constantly explain to people why it's wrong. And then have other people make excuses and pretty much say that we deserve it or that we're being "too sensitive".

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Posted

Btw im not black. Im asian, but it disgusts me when one race thinks they are better than the rest and expects them to listen to their music.I'm over Korean music now. Good luck trying to expand your hallyu wave, racists.

but you painting the entire country as racists based on these episodes, that's not a lot better than what happened here. the dooly sketch was actually offensive to some koreans, especially those who have had some exposure to different cultures and know what blackface is. and among those who didn't know what the big fuss was about, a lot of it was probably because they don't know about the historical implications of it, not because they're gigantic racists. for example, my friend looked at this and said, "well, that's michael from dooly, that's all," but when i showed him past examples of blackface, he agreed that those were offensive and it put this episode more in context. all i'm saying is that you need to give koreans more of a chance rather than attributing the actions of an ignorant few to everyone.

as for MBC, personally, i do blame them. this isn't the first or second time they've done this, the first or second time they've had to apologize. why don't they take some cultural sensitivity training so it doesn't happen again?

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Posted

    

but you painting the entire country as racists based on these episodes, that's not a lot better than what happened here. the dooly sketch was actually offensive to some koreans, especially those who have had some exposure to different cultures and know what blackface is. and among those who didn't know what the big fuss was about, a lot of it was probably because they don't know about the historical implications of it, not because they're gigantic racists. for example, my friend looked at this and said, "well, that's michael from dooly, that's all," but when i showed him past examples of blackface, he agreed that those were offensive and it put this episode more in context. all i'm saying is that you need to give koreans more of a chance rather than attributing the actions of an ignorant few to everyone.

as for MBC, personally, i do blame them. this isn't the first or second time they've done this, the first or second time they've had to apologize. why don't they take some cultural sensitivity training so it doesn't happen again?

Typical disclaimers: I'm not trying to attack Korea or Koreans or  their pride. The staff at MBC need to learn that blackface is offensive  or they will unfortunately risk Korea's image, because the rest of the  world can be racist too and they may very well lump all Koreans together  if they see this continue.

While I agree that racism should be avoided (of Koreans and everyone else), I find it difficult to fault someone who is offended by MBC's repeated use of blackface to the point that they are turned off of the Korean wave/hallyu. Hallyu sells itself as a hyper-nationalist "we are Korea's face" type of thing, so when a major player in hallyu does something like this repeatedly it's totally rational to just say to hell with Korean media. That's why blackface is so detrimental to Korea's overall interest - they're trying to export and most of the world will not tolerate this at all, in any form, on any comedy show, anywhere. It's extremely offensive in the West and Africa, but it is also offensive void of any context. You don't need to know about history to see that painting yourself a color that no human skin tone matches, exaggerating your lips far beyond what any human looks like, and acting like a child is extremely offensive to the people you are imitating. A cartoon show that is in itself highly insensitive about race if not racist does not make a valid excuse for this. Racism can be and often is unintentional, the way to stop being a racist is to accept that what you've done or said is racist and stop doing it. Saying "I'm not a racist" does not make you not a racist.

Korea as a monoculture frankly just isn't an excuse when we're talking in the context of globalism. Korea is thrusting itself out there to be on the global stage, so Korean media broadcasters need to already know that stuff like this will not fly. It's inexcusable that MBC hasn't figured this out yet, especially after the last few times MBC has done this.

Let me put it this way:

for decades prior to this short  timeline: blackface has a storied history readily available to anyone on  the internet or at a university. Also blackface was done by the Korean SNL and the outrage it evoked caused SNL to formally apologize.

MBC: does blackface

Black/international community: Stop doing that, it's offensive.

MBC: does it again

Black/international community: Stop doing that, it's offensive.

MBC: does it again

Black/international/KOREAN (yes, a bunch of Koreans got up in arms about this, they know it's wrong) community: Stop doing that, it's offensive.

MBC:  We're sorry you're easily offended, maybe you should be more open to  Korean culture because it's just based on this black caricature in a  cartoon. You have no right to be offended because we said so.

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Posted

While I agree that racism should be avoided (of Koreans and everyone else), I find it difficult to fault someone who is offended by MBC's repeated use of blackface to the point that they are turned off of the Korean wave/hallyu.

i think you misunderstood my point. i absolutely think this person has a right to not want to listen to korean music or watch korean dramas after repeated exposure to racist episodes. heck, i've stopped watching dramas after seeing foreigners portrayed in a certain light and i can definitely imagine having that feeling extended to apply to all k-entertainment by pushing a few more buttons. but this person's posts didn't make any distinction between the people in this sketch and koreans in general. he or she just referred to all koreans as racist and labeled the racism as being the fault of the entire race. that's what i find hard to take, because while many koreans are racist and/or ignorant, plenty are not, and to lump them all together is doing them a similar kind of disservice as MBC has been doing.

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